Changed Lives

Nicole’s Story
Saved from the Streets

Nicole remembers the day she and her four children became homeless very well.

Overnight, they went from having a comfortable home to being on the streets, not knowing what to do next. Nicole had heard about Crossroads and decided to see if they could provide help.

There, they received the support they needed to get through that difficult period and emerge on the other side ready for a fresh start. Nicole worked overnights as a nurse’s assistant at the time, which meant taking the children to school and child care during the day. The staff at Crossroads worked with her to ensure this process was smooth and easy.

Also, coming to the Mission meant leaving behind a dangerous neighborhood. “My kids would find drug needles,” she remembers. “It just wasn’t safe for my children to even go outside and play.”

At Crossroads, she and her children got rooms to themselves where they could live and recover together. While here, Nicole also helped with cooking meals from time to time, which she greatly enjoyed. She fondly remembers one night when she put together a special meal. “It was Mexican food … I remember cooking a big meal for everybody and everybody loved it, so that was a plus!”

Because you care, neighbors like Nicole and her family are able to receive the help they need at Crossroads!

Justin’s Story
From Heart Failure to Hope

Justin has always been searching for purpose in his life. Finally, after coming to Crossroads Mission Avenue, he found it.

Growing up in Columbus, he got in trouble a lot, using drugs, and making reckless decisions. Ultimately, it landed him in prison in Texas. While there, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Upon release, Justin returned to a life of drugs and homelessness — but deep down, he knew something had changed. After he had a pulmonary episode, the hospital sent him to Crossroads to recover and get clean. He learned he had experienced heart failure. Since, he has gotten sober, begun attending worship and focusing on his relationship with God, all with the help of the Mission.

After experiencing heart failure, Justin was told he didn’t have much time to live. Nevertheless, he decided to embrace his purpose: to spend time with loved ones and trust in the Lord to show him the way.

“Crossroads was not just accommodating of me staying there with my limited ability to do things, but also with the emotional stuff that I was going through with that diagnosis,” Justin says. “My diagnosis is terminal. But it reminded me that I had to trust God and know that’s part of his plan.”

Thanks to you, people like Justin receive the help and hope they need — and a fresh start!

Alayna’s Story
“A Divine Intervention”

This Thanksgiving, Alayna is grateful for friends like you who made it possible for her to land on her feet while at Crossroads.

A little over a year ago, her life started unraveling. She was a single mom trying to balance multiple jobs while also pursuing a nursing degree. Things got so overwhelming that she turned to meth to help her cope, and to make it through the day.

“Everything spiraled out of control relatively fast,” Alayna says. “My life was out of control.”

A possession charge landed her in jail for two weeks. Then the drug court program sent her to Crossroads to continue her rehab.

“I had hit rock bottom, and this was a ground zero moment,” she says. “But I knew I needed to do something. I had to completely surrender to the program, and to God. Coming here to Crossroads was all part of a divine intervention.”

Alayna says the love, support and encouragement from the Crossroads team helped her find hope and healing. She ended up working full time in one of our thrift stores, and is now that store’s manager.

“The thrift store has helped me be in a position to turn my life around,” she says. “I’ve regained the manageability that I had lost so quickly.”

During her almost yearlong stay at Crossroads, Alayna’s mother cared for her three children. She has since moved out of the shelter and into her own place, reunited with her boys, ages 10, 14 and 15.

“My oldest one told me that he couldn’t be more proud of me,” Alayna says. “He said he’s glad he can have somebody like me to look up to. That made me cry like a baby!”

We couldn’t be more proud of the way you help men, women and families find a fresh start. Thank you!

Patrick’s Story
“I Was Mad at God”

The last several years have been brutal for Patrick.

His mom died of emphysema and COPD. Then his best friend died of cancer.

Then his girlfriend passed away, also from cancer. “So I was mad at God for a long time,” says Patrick. “I couldn’t understand how He could take everyone that I loved and leave me here to suffer. The pain was unbearable, and I went down a dark, dark road.”

Patrick turned to meth to bury that pain, and he didn’t care if he lived or died. He was homeless, on the streets, stealing to feed his habit. There were brushes with the law.

A probation officer saw something in Patrick that he couldn’t see in himself, and decided that Crossroads was better than incarceration. That decision saved Patrick’s life.

“Crossroads helped me get back to where I am today,” says Patrick, who recently celebrated six months of sobriety. “They’ve helped me to appreciate the time I had with the people I loved, and not be angry. They helped me look at it with a different point of view.

“I’ve worked hard to change my life, and I know God has blessed me. And maybe he has a plan for me. He’ll let me know when it’s time.”

Your gift is life-changing for struggling neighbors in need of hope!

Kevin’s Story
“I Missed Being at Crossroads”

Nobody likes to be awakened in the middle of the night. Especially when it’s Christmas Day.

But that’s just what happened to 82 residents at our Hastings location. A pipe had burst, spilling water on our main electrical panel, shutting off all power. Local officials deemed the building unsafe, so everyone had to evacuate — immediately.

Local churches stepped in by setting up emergency shelters, and some of our residents had to travel up to 100 miles for shelter.

Kevin was one of them. He slept on a mattress on a church’s gym floor … for over a month. It took about five weeks to repair the electrical and plumbing damage at our Hastings facility.

“I missed being at Crossroads,” says Kevin, 56. “I was so glad to get back.”

And no wonder. Thanks to your support, Kevin, who had battled alcohol and depression for years, had found a fresh start and renewed hope at Crossroads.

“I’ve had a lot of hardship,” he says. “But Crossroads has told me to never give up, and I always keep those words in the back of my mind.

“Without Crossroads, I’d be homeless. I’m very happy here.”

Through your generous gift, you never give up on our neighbors in need. Thank you!

Teresa’s Story
“They Give People Hope”

Teresa believes her on-and-off struggles with alcohol are over, thanks to Crossroads Mission Avenue.

“Drinking, then not drinking, relapse after relapse,” she says. “But when you’re someplace where people care about you, it’s all good.”

That “someplace” is our Kearney shelter. But Teresa’s from Lexington, where we purchased property and opened a thrift store last fall. Work is underway to open a Lexington shelter in 2024, but that wasn’t soon enough for Teresa.

So she traveled the 35 miles to Kearney where her son had received help — and recommended Crossroads to her. Teresa, 57, has struggled with multiple health issues, including a brain aneurysm in 2021 that left her blind in one eye, and, more recently, back problems that resulted in surgery this spring.

She hasn’t been able to work in a couple years because of those struggles, and Crossroads is helping her get disability benefits.

Teresa hopes to live independently again someday, but she’s in no hurry to leave.

“Being in a shelter, I never dreamed it could be so good,” she says. “It wasn’t something I envisioned for my life. But Crossroads is exactly what I needed. It’s like a big family here. They give people hope.”

Thank you for helping your neighbors like Teresa find a place that feels like family!

Patrick’s Story
“I haven’t had a drink since I walked through that front door”

Patrick was married at a young age, before joining the Navy. It was while he was on active duty that alcoholism began to creep into his life. Then, an unthinkable tragedy struck. Patrick’s wife died in a car accident. Drinking then took over his life; the pain of the loss was more than he could bear.

After the Navy, he joined the civil service, but alcoholism continued to take a toll on him. Ultimately, he quit his job and found himself homeless. That’s when he turned to Crossroads, where he received food and shelter, as well as the compassion and emotional support he needed to start again. “I haven’t had a drink since I walked through that front door,” he says. “They all gave me the support I needed and that just really stuck with me.”

Annie & Pete’s Story
“We were embarrassed and upset,” Annie remembers. “Just being in that situation, it was all too much for us.”

Annie and her husband, Pete, are both hardworking people who had steady jobs. But Pete suffers from a psychiatric disorder, which was misdiagnosed for years, costing him his job. Annie did everything she could to support him, and care for their two children, but she also lost her job in the process.

Soon, they were evicted and forced to live in their car. “We were embarrassed and upset,” Annie remembers. “Just being in that situation, it was all too much for us.”

Thankfully, people like Annie can walk through the doors at Crossroads Mission Avenue and find hope and renewal. In addition to receiving a warm meal and safe shelter, Annie and her family received the empathy, emotional support and welcoming community they needed to recover and start over.

Today, Pete is finally on the right medications and managing his condition much better than before. And Annie has started attending Bible studies.

“Crossroads helps a lot of people,” she says. “All I can think of now is how I can give back to Crossroads, enabling them to help more people the way they helped us.”

Christina’s Story
After the Fire

It was a mother’s worst nightmare. Christina, a single mom, and her 11-year-old son had just pulled up in front of their home, only to find it ablaze. Were her other kids stuck inside?

She tried to open the front door, but was pushed back by the blast. She lay down on the porch and started screaming their names, fearing the worst.

Fortunately, they showed up a few minutes later, just as the fire department arrived. The whole family watched helplessly as their house burned down. They were grateful to be alive, but they lost everything in the fire … including their three English bulldogs.

Suddenly homeless, Christina’s family was invited to move into the Crossroads transitional housing apartments.

“It was overwhelming to show up there with nothing to our names,” Christina says. “But the staff was wonderful, and it was great for us to be together.”

The family stayed with Crossroads for six weeks before moving into their own place.

“I don’t know what we would’ve done without Crossroads,” Christina says. “It was nice to have a place where we could be safe and have such a good support system.”

Your generous gift makes you part of that support system for families in need!

Scott’s Story
He just needed a Safe Place

Scott’s 65 years haven’t been easy. His struggles with mental illness and chronic homelessness have taken their toll.

“My bones are aching,” he says. “I’ve had a very rugged life.”

Fortunately, he found his way to Crossroads where, for almost two years now, he’s been able to give those bones — and his heart and soul — a rest.

“I came here for security,” says Scott. “Sleeping outside is rough, and it can get dangerous.”

Jake, one of our program directors, says it’s a blessing to serve Scott … and that the Crossroads team is blessed in return.

“We’re just the Good Samaritan in his life,” Jake says. “Scott was alone and it seemed like nobody was helping him. So we’re taking care of him and making sure he’s safe and secure, meeting his essential needs.

“He’s comfortable here, and he’s just a nice guy. He’s just part of our family.”

Your heartfelt support makes you part of an “extended family” to neighbors in need!